THE WORD: Sowing seeds to bear fruit

PHOTO CAPTION: “Landscape with the Parable of the Sower” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1552). The painting is part of the collection of the Timken Museum of Art, San Diego, California. (Public Domain | CC0 1.0 | GNU Free Documentation License)

 The 13th Chapter of Matthew begins with Jesus teaching beside the Sea of Galilee and includes eight parables. The first parable taught by Jesus was the Parable of the Sower. In the story, we hear of the different ways seeds can hit the ground. Seeds dropped by the sower on the way side are eaten by birds. Those dropped on stony places sprout but wither because they have no roots. Seeds dropped among thorns are choked out by the weeds. But seeds planted in good soil will bear fruit. Jesus explains the meaning of the parable:

19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.